Tracker has revealed that the Range Rover Sport has been named the most commonly stolen and recovered vehicle for the third consecutive year.
Analysis of data by the stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) company, Tracker Network UK, shows that Range Rover and Land Rover models dominated in 2021, with a total of seven models accounting for almost half (44%) of all stolen cars recovered by Tracker last year.
Mercedes-Benz accounted for almost one in five (18%) vehicles the company recovered.
With keyless car entry systems becoming increasingly commonplace, Tracker says it is no surprise that keyless theft has risen to an all-time high; 94% of all vehicles recovered by Tracker in 2021 were stolen without the thief having possession of the keys.
Clive Wain, head of police liaison for Tracker, says that due to the pandemic, global demand for car parts has created a boom in ‘chop-shops’ - buildings which house stolen vehicles for stripping down so their expensive parts can be sold on.
Furthermore, according to Wain, the lack of parts for new car manufacturing resulted in a surge of sales in the second-hand car market, creating a lucrative business for car thieves to fill the shortage.
“Prestige models have always been the go-to for criminals who exploit the demand for these desirable cars in territories like Europe, Middle East and Africa,” he added.
“We are continuously intercepting shipping containers packed with stolen vehicles at ports around the country and 2021 was no different. However, due to the pandemic lower value cars have also seen an increase in theft rates.”
The BMW X5, which has held the top spot in Tracker’s league table six times in the last ten years, slides down from fourth place in 2020 to fifth position in 2021.
The Audi A4 makes its first appearance since 2011, holding position nine alongside the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The Audi Q7 sneaks in at number 10, the first time to feature in the Tracker league table since its inception in 2009.
Wain concluded: “Whatever the value of a car, an important barrier to stop thieves is using traditional physical security devices like steering wheel locks and wheel clamps.
“In addition, placing the key fob into a signal blocking pouch which is lined with layers of metallic material, will stop a key's signal from being intercepted by would-be thieves.
“However, thieves are increasingly determined and employ sophisticated methods too. In the event of a vehicle being stolen, an SVR solution will significantly increase the chances of it being quickly recovered and returned before it’s sold on, stripped for parts or shipped abroad.”